Chijimi, or Buchimgae

When I lived in Japan I loved this dish on the few times I went to Korea Town in Tsuruhashi, Osaka. And when I saw garlic chives at the market, I thought immediately that this would be great on the boat.

I know that in Japan they were called Chijimi, which translates into Korean as buchimgae, known in the western world as Korean Pancakes. Jeon is a type of buchimgae, and buchu means garlic chives; so buchujeon is a garlic chive Korean pancake.

They are so simple to make and you can enjoy these pancakes at happy hour with a really cold beer, or serve them up for a breakfast after a big night with friends. . And you can use up whatever left overs are around. Seafood, meat and veges all work in this dish, but plain is still delicious.

I did search through a few korean pancake recipes on various blogs and websites, and decided that the one on JinJoo’s site looked like it would reproduce the pancake I remember in Japan. Check out her blog for some great Korean recipes.

Ingredients

  • 200g Garlic chives, chopped into inch-long pieces
  • 1 1/2 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Vegetable oil

Method

Simple. Just whisk together the egg, flour, salt and water until smooth. The batter should be slightly thinner than pouring cream consistency. You might need to add more water to get there. Jinjoo also adds a little sugar as well, but I don’t think it needs it.

Add the batter to the chives. The mix should be really heavy with chives – about twice as many chives to the amount of batter. If you have batter left over, chop up more chives – no matter how many pancakes you make, they will be eaten! This is your chance to add more ingredients. Shredded carrot, zucchini, squid, thinly sliced beef, etc.

Heat up the oil in the fying pan and ladle in a scoop of the mix. Spread it thinly, and cook until it is a little crispy. Flip it and do the same. The second side won’t take as long.

Serve it up while hot, with a soy and vinegar dipping sauce. Jinjoo has one on her site, but there are plenty of others around. A starting point is soy sauce and vinegar at 2:1 ratio. Then add to your hearts delight. ground sesame, fresh chilli, spring onion, chilli oil, ginger, etc. Rice wine vinegar works best in my opinion.

We have some plans to tart this up and make it more of a meal, so stay tuned for that in the future.

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